The artist known as Ludacris, the glorified rapper of songs “Stand Up,” “What’s Your Fantasy?” and “Rollout,” the millionaire party-starter and impresario, has decided to tackle the biggest hypocrisy in contemporary hip-hop (and perhaps all of music): sexism.
It’s a noble cause if at least for the simple fact that a preeminent artist in the field is acknowledging an existing problem–let alone creating an album about it. And for some of “Battle of the Sexes” that is exactly what we get. For example, on “My Chick Bad,” Diamond, formerly of Crime Mob, Trina and Eve stretch out and do some bragging—or rather, add some much-needed female swagger to the mix. On “Hey Ho,” Ludacris addresses the gender double standard of sleeping around, then brings in Lil’ Kim to help break down the hypocrisy.
Still, this album largely feels more like a staged fight than a productive discussion, having little more than the critical punch of a Civil War reenactment and the moral agenda of one, too. When typically misogynistic party singles like “How Low” and “Sex Room” appear, they hardly have a steady female opponent, standing tall and stridently, uncontested. Overall, “Battle of the Sexes” is nothing more than fancy fireworks; it’s a one-sided face-off that is more about bringing people to the club than making serious comments on the sex and gender.